Owning a pet is a wonderful thing. They can bring joy to your home, and make a faithful companion for life. But too many people get a pet without proper forethought, and end up realising that they cannot care for it. This is unfair on the animal and so you should think long and hard about whether you can fulfil their needs before you decide to buy a pet. If you are unsure, here are a few things to consider before getting a pet.
Can You Commit?
This is the main one. If you buy a low maintenance animal like a cat, you won’t need to dedicate as much time to them. If you buy a dog, you will need to walk it everyday without fail. If you don’t, you could harm their health. You might think that you can commit now, but dogs can live for up to fifteen years. Are you prepared to be there to look after them for that long? Any uncertainty should be a warning sign and you should think about maybe waiting a few years until you are in a position to say for definite whether you can commit to looking after that animal.
Can You Afford it?
A lot of people think that the costs involved with having a pet amount to buying it in the first place (unless you are adopting) and then paying for food. Unfortunately this is not the case. You need to be prepared to pay for vet bills if necessary, and this can be very expensive. If your pet brings pests into your home, then you will need to pay companies like Terminix to get the infestation under control. You also need to think about what you are going to do with your pet if you go away on holiday. There might be a friend or family member that can look after them for you, but if not, your only choice will be to pay for kennels.
Another consideration is the damage that they may do to your home. If you get your pet at a young age, they will need to be house trained, and this might mean that your brand new sofa gets ripped up a few times.
Making Your Home Pet-Friendly
If you have decided that getting a pet is the right choice for you, you need to make sure they have somewhere safe to live. There are lots of household items that are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Make sure you know what these are, and remove them. Also make sure that there are no sharp corners that they can run into while they are young. The garden also needs checking, to make sure that there are no toxic plants, and that there isn’t any holes in the fence for them to escape through.
Before committing to anything, seek the advice of vets. They can tell you whether the pet will be happy in your home, and what the costs of keeping the animal are likely to be. Some animals will need regular check-ups with a vet, which can end up costing a lot of money. If you aren’t prepared to do this, it is better to know sooner rather than later.
Once you have considered all of these things, you can go and meet your new best friend.